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World Youth Day's Theme: Receive the Holy Spirit PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Tuesday, 24 July 2007 09:08
From Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney in the World Youth Day Newsletter:


"Jesus promised that this work and His presence would be made possible by His gift of the “Advocate”/“Paraclete” who is the “Spirit of Truth” (John 16:7-15) known to Christians as the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Spirit. The Acts of the Apostles describes the coming of the Holy Spirit like “tongues of fire” upon the Disciples in the Upper Room (or Cenacle) on the day of Pentecost (Act 2:1-13). It is the Holy Spirit who continues to animate and unite the Church through her leaders and through her faithful.

Each person Baptised in Christ, is “remade in Him” and receives special gifts and strengths of the Holy Spirit. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit are the personal graces of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and awe for the Lord.

The graces of the Holy Spirit are also called “charisms”.

These were identified in the New Testament (Rom 12:6; 1 Cor 12: 4, 30f; 1 Tm 4:14, 2 Tm 1:6; 1 Pt 4:10). The charisms are particular spiritual powers freely and often surprisingly given by the Holy Spirit at different times in response to the needs of
others and particularly in order to revive, build up, purify or restore the work of Christ in the Church. Charisms appear in the Church’s history especially in times of crisis. The charisms of healing, encouragement, discernment of spirits, mercy, organisation, preaching, prayer, and wisdom in the lives of Saints Dominic, Francis, Teresa of Avila, Vincent de Paul and Mother Teresa and in notable figures such as Jean Vanier and Dorothy Day ignite movements and new institutions within the Church which shine the Gospel to the world.

The Church and the Holy Spirit

At the end of St Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus as he returns to the Father at His Ascension assures his disciples, “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). This assurance of Jesus’ continuing life-giving and healing work in His Church is accompanied by His commission to the disciples that in His Name, they continue His saving work in time: “making disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) and proclaiming “repentance and forgiveness of sins...” (Luke 24:47). Since that time, Christians understand that they are not to keep Jesus to themselves but must help all people to know Jesus Christ and His saving love and presence in the Church. This is the task of evangelisation.”

 

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